This post will explore the questionnaire data for BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth and how the data has been used to influence our practice.
Profile of the participants
19 students participated in the questionnaire, out of a cohort of 27. All those who participated are full-time students, 18 are female and 1 male which is representative of the cohort. 15 participants are aged 18-20, and 4 are classed as mature learners as they are over the age of 21.
8 participants identified themselves as “White British”, 5 identified as “British”, 1 identified as “Mixed Other British”, 1 as “Black Caribbean”, 1 as “Black African” and 1 as “Asian/African”. As a course, we have high levels of diversity, with 50% self-reporting as BAME.
Previous educational experiences
Previous study: The majority of participants had studied a BTEC in Health and Social Care (6 participants) or a CACHE Diploma in Early Years (6 participants). 5 students studied A-levels covering a broad range of subjects and 2 students studied an Access to Higher Education qualification.
GCSE attainment: All of the participants stated they had a C or above in GCSE English. Two participants did not have a C or above in Maths and one participant did not complete this question.
Previous support to use the library: 11 participants rated the support they had received to use the library as excellent or good, while 6 stated this support was poor and 2 stated they had not previously received any support. 8 participants stated they never accessed the library, but this may be because their educational setting did not have any library services.
Previous support to use the internet: 12 participants rated the support they had received to use the internet as excellent or good, while 5 stated this support was poor and 1 stated they had not previously received any support.
Previous experiences relating to assessment and feedback: 17 participants stated they used to receive feedback on their draft coursework, with only 2 participants stating this was never received. All participants stated they had received feedback on how to improve their grades. 15 participants stated they had previously experienced assessment dates changing and 11 participants were used to seeing model assessment answers. Proof reading work was commonly experienced by participants, either always (1), often (5) or occasionally (8). This proof reading was most commonly conducted by the educational setting. 15 participants stated they were previously taught how to reference, while 13 were taught the importance of acknowledging the sources used in their work.
Previous experiences of personal tutoring: 8 participants stated tutorials occurred on request and 6 participants explained they had weekly tutorials. The other participants had tutorials on a fortnightly or monthly basis.
Reasons for choosing the university and course
Reasons for choosing to study at the University of Northampton included:
- liking the university
- a positive open day experience
- a positive interview experience
- the degree
- close to home
- recommended by others
Reasons for choosing to study Childhood and Youth centred around their personal experiences, for example, if they had a difficult or traumatic childhood, or conversely if they had experienced a positive family upbringing. Some participants were also influenced by their parents working in a job related to children and young people. This data does highlight that some of our students have had difficult upbringings and may continue to experience difficulties during their studies. This observation is reflected in a later question as 6 participants felt that there were factors that would impact their studies. These reasons revolved around personal family issues, being away from home, missing friends and family, dyslexia, dyspraxia, anxiety, being hearing impaired, lack of self-confidence and lack of time management skills.
11 participants stated that they are working alongside their studies, with 8 stating they were not. Of those who were working, 1 participant stated they are working 30 hours, 3 were working 20-24 hours, 2 were working around 10 hours, while 4 appears to be on zero hours contracts. Only one participant stated that their job is linked in some way to work with children and young people.
The most commonly cited career aspirations included: social work, youth work, youth justice, special educational needs, mental health, primary school teacher and play therapy. 6 participants either left this section blank or answered ‘not sure’.
Key attributes and skills
When asked to list their key attributes the participants highlighted the following:
When asked to list their key skills the participants highlighted the following:
Actions resulting from the questionnaire data
- The Programme Leader is liaising with local FE providers to create partnerships to boost recruitment. A number of links have been made with course leaders that are responsible for health and social care and early years courses.
- Sharing information with students about how to retake GCSE Maths during their studies and the importance of this for their employability.
- Sharing part-time job opportunities for students that are related to work with children and young people. This will help to enhance students’ employability prospects.
- Working with learning development to enhance students’ study skills and confidence in accessing the library, using the internet and referencing. This was largely addressed in EDU1025 Introduction to Childhood and Youth which is a study skills module. Sessions have also been embedded in other L4 modules.
- Students are encouraged to share factors that may impact their studies during personal tutorials.
- Our work-based learning module is supporting students to reflect on and discuss their skills and attributes.